Both grandfathers that I knew (long story, but there was at least one other) served during the Second World War. Both grandmothers worked in munitions factories at the same time. They’re gone now, but never far from my thoughts, especially today.
You may know that in addition to being an author and an editor I am a trained military historian. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have traveled overseas several times with veterans to visit the battlefields with them. It seems appropriate today to share a couple of photos from those trips.
My wife and her friend were in France a few years ago and said she was quite moved by cemetery & memorial in Normandy.
It can be overwhelming. I have a pretty tough time whenever I’m in one. I start reading the markers and I see all these kids who died at 18, 19, 20 years old and all that lost potential really hits me hard. The one at Dieppe really hurts. It’s the only Commonwealth Cemetery I’ve been to where the markers are double-rowed. And to see so many all with the same date of death of August 19, 1942 is difficult to comprehend. I think the only one that affects me even worse is the memorial at the Abbey d’Ardenne where Canadian prisoners of war were executed by the Hitler Youth division just after D-Day. I’ve stayed at the Abbey and it was an amazing and difficult time.
I have several friends that served in Desert Storm and that sort of thing also hits home with me.